Microsoft and ConnectWise tackle SMB cyber security demands for MSPs

16 February 2024 | 15 Shares

Source: ConnectWise

Cyber security is no longer a luxury for micro and small businesses, with 38 per cent of those in the UK identifying a cyber attack in the last 12 months and many reporting incidents weekly. While 83 per cent of small businesses view cyber security as a high priority, there are a number of crucial challenges they face in implementing robust cyber security measures. The two most common are:

  1. Cyber security skills shortage

A UK Government report shows the country had a shortfall of 11,200 workers in cyber security in 2022. The figure illustrates the difficulties technology companies face to scale their security teams to cope with increased demand amid skills shortages. SMBs may be left in a dangerous predicament if they cannot compete for the limited pool of cyber security talent.

  1. Expensive digital solutions

According to a recent study commissioned by Microsoft, one of the top challenges technology providers face today is rising manufacturer prices. This is a concern passed on from their clients, particularly small to medium businesses (SMBs). The study also found that 64 per cent of SMBs prefer purchasing cyber security solutions as part of a package that meets all their requirements, reflecting their relatively limited budgets.

These challenges, along with the growing number of cyber threats, have spurred an increase in demand for managed service providers (MSPs) that support customers’ cyber security with specialist expertise and cost-effective solutions.

A crucial collaboration

In September 2023, ConnectWise, a leading provider of cyber security software and MSP specialist, announced a new collaboration with Microsoft. Together, they offer a solution for MSPs supporting the growing cyber security demands of SMBs that’s especially useful in helping to combat the two crucial challenges above. ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business is an integration of Microsoft’s SMB endpoint detection and response (EDR) software solution with ConnectWise’s co-managed Security Operations Centre (SOC) services. Together, they form an SMB-focused Managed Detection and Response (MDR) offering.

Microsoft Defender

Source: ConnectWise

Rob Lefferts, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Sentinel Engineering, said: “The integration with ConnectWise represents our shared commitment to empowering managed service providers. This collaboration aims to enhance security for SMB customers, boost partner profitability, and reduce costs through integrated solutions.”

MSP-focused security team – add to your existing team

MSPs using ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business get access to the more than 200 certified security experts of the ConnectWise SOC. The ConnectWise team acts as an extension to the MSP business, managing all security alerts and responding in real-time, 24/7. By leveraging the SOC’s capabilities, MSPs supercharge detection and response offerings to secure their clients’ systems while streamlining operations, maximising profitability, and freeing up the business to scale and grow.

The ConnectWise SOC works closely with the ConnectWise Research Unit (CRU), a team of seasoned security professionals with expertise in engineering, IT administration, security operations, and incident analysis & response. CRU analysts are 100 per cent MSP-focused, continuously looking for anomalous activities, researching emerging threats and collating new information. The proactive approach ensures MSPs and their clients remain shielded in the evolving threat landscape.

Harnessing Existing Software – reducing your costs

As SMBs often work with tighter budgets, leveraging existing technology where possible is critical. With ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business, MSPs can utilise the cyber security software that their clients likely already own. Microsoft Defender for Business (MDB) is also available as a standalone solution, so it can easily be installed if the client is not a Microsoft 365 Business Premium user. Microsoft 365 Business Premium, one of the most popular software suites on the market, ships with MDB, so there is no need to buy extraneous solutions.

With bad actors no longer exclusively targeting large corporations, small UK businesses cannot afford to wait to bolster their security posture. Now is the time to expand your MSP services to these customers by taking advantage of cost-effective, impactful solutions. To learn more about the unique offerings for MSPs that ConnectWise offers, click through to connect with a representative near you.